I ran across my daughter’s second grade journal today and began to panic a little. My son, nearing the end of first grade, is nowhere near the skills shown by my daughter’s writing, even at the beginning of her second grade year. I know that it can be folly to compare children but it did spur me on today to search for ways to encourage writing fluency in my son.
I really should be encouraged by the fact that he no longer grips the pencil in a tight fist. And that he is a better reader at this age than his sister was. But writing?? He’d rather go to the dentist and get his teeth filled. Much of this has to do with a little perfectionist tendency that has surfaced in him. He hates to guess at the spelling of a word, lest he be wrong!! How different this is from his sister, who can write like a racehorse, but can’t even spell her own name. (I’m not kidding…in the midst of furious writing, she has been known to misspell her name…multiple times.) Like immersing yourself in a Shakespeare play, it takes me awhile to understand her own “alternately-spelled” language, but once I get it, it all makes sense. And the stories are riveting.
I have to admit, it’s hard to look at my son writing. It still looks painfully awkward. I can see why he wants to wriggle, and shake his hands in frustration, and whine and complain. Because of this, I realized today I have been reluctant to make him write as much as he should. He never minds dictating a story to me, but to write one himself…??
I found this website and I’m going to give it a whirl: WritingFix: Word and writing games for young writers
I have also determined to suffer through a journal time every morning, no matter how much I want to stop.
It’s funny to see bits of my own writing habits in both of my school-age children. As a young child I had terrible handwriting…consistent C’s and D’s, but boy, could I spin a story! With near perfect spelling, too!. But what went on before I began the story? Whining by me, cajoling/threats by the adults. I have always had a love/hate relationship with writing. It’s dreadful to get me started, yet I am constantly writing in my head and can’t stop. Once it’s out…I love it again. Strange.